Going Deeper 11-13-19

The Psalm for Pentecost 23…

Psalm 98   O sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things.  His right hand and his holy arm have gotten him victory.  The Lord has made known his victory; he has revealed his vindication in the sight of the nations.  He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel.  All the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.  Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises.  Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody.  With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord.  Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; the world and those who live in it.  Let the floods clap their hands; let the hills sing together for joy at the presence of the Lord, for he is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity.


It’s that time of year.  Families are planning their holiday gatherings, pumpkins are replaced with Thanksgiving décor (or in some cases, Christmas already!), people are at different stages of Christmas shopping (Janet’s almost done!), and we are starting to talk about whether it’s too soon to turn on the Christmas music.  Oh, and the other thing we can count on during this stretch: our Scripture readings at church start focusing on the apocalypse and all of the signs preceding the final coming of Jesus.


Buzz kill?  No, quite the opposite, really.


Three of our four texts this week point us the direction of the end times… even our Psalm.  Yes, this appears to be a Psalm filled with callings to shout and sing and praise the Lord.  But it all leads to the climax in the final verse: “for he is coming.”  For His children, anticipating the Lord’s coming brings hope and motivation for praise.  For their enemies, not so much, for “He will judge the world with righteousness”.


As we have noted in other readings recently, before pointing to the future we do well to look to the past.  The first part of our text is past tense… “he has done marvelous things.”  When times are difficult and hope seems faint, the children of God do well to take time to remember “his steadfast love and faithfulness” in times past.  God has proven to be much more than willing and able to deliver His people.  He has before and He will do so again.


In the meantime, we worship and praise.  Even in the midst of hardship and calamity, we can “make a joyful noise” with voice and instruments, and all of creation will join us in celebrating the love and faithfulness of our Lord!!


With You in Him,

Mark Gabbert, Pastor
Zion Lutheran Church
Wellington, Colorado

"No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care."